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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

94                       JOURNEYS IN PERSIA               LETTER xx

wide cultivated plain of Silakhor, with its many villages;
the winding Ab-i-Diz, its yellow crops, hardly distinguish-
able from the yellow soil and hazy yellow hills whose
many spurs descend upon the plain—all merged in a
haze of dust and heat. The eye is not tempted to
linger long upon that specimen of a Persian summer
landscape, but turns with relief to the other side of the
ridge, to a confused mass of mountains of great height,
built up of precipices of solid rock, dark gray, weathered
into black and denuded of soil, a mystery of chasms, rifts,
and river-beds, sheltering and feeding predatory tribes,
but unknown to the rest of the world.

The chaos of mountain summits, chasms, and pre-
cipices is very remarkable, merging into lower and less
definite ranges, with alpine meadows at great heights,
and ravines much wooded, where charcoal is burned and
carried to Burujird and Hamadan. Among the salient
points of this singular landscape are the mighty Shuturun
range, the peak of Kuh-i-Kargun on the other side of the
Silakhor plain, the river which comes down from Lake
Irene, the Holiwar, with the fantastic range of the Kuh-
i-Haft-Kuh (seven peaks) on its left bank, descending
abruptly to the Ab-i-Zaz, beyond which again rises the
equally precipitous range of the Kuh-i-Kuhbar. Near
the Holiwar valley is a mountain formed by a singular
arrangement of rocky buttresses, surmounted by a tooth-
like rock, the Tuk-i-Karu, of which the guide told the
legend that in " ancient times " a merchant did a large
trade in a tent at the top of it, and before he died buried
his treasure underneath it.

A very striking object from the top is the gorge or
canon, the Tang-i-Bahrain, by which the Ab-i-Burujird
leaves the plain of Silakhor and enters upon its rough
and fretted passage through ravines, for the most part in-
accessible except to practised Ilyat mountaineers.